Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays, 8am - 10am

NPR's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon captures the spirit of Saturday with an informative and worldly blend of news and analysis, and special features including the topics of sports, gardening, entertainment and more.

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Middle East
6:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Muslims Challenge Ban On Protests

Anti-riot police face off with protesters in Saudi Arabia's eastern city of Qatif on March 11, 2011. Despite bans on the demonstrations, Shiite Muslims in the eastern part of the country have continued to stage protests, demanding political changes.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 4:27 pm

Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.

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Author Interviews
6:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

'Z' Tells The Fitzgeralds' Story From Zelda's Point Of View

St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 8:13 am

F. Scott Fitzgerald first saw his future wife from across a crowded room at a country club dance in Montgomery, Ala., where he was in basic training and she was waiting to be discovered by the world. They wed in 1920, and the two went on to have a famously turbulent marriage — tarnished by personal and professional jealousy, alcohol abuse and mental illness — which they both immortalized in their writing.

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Politics
5:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

What's Changed: From Brady Bill To Current Gun Control Push

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 7:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Sarah Brady has worked for tougher gun laws for decades. Her husband, Jim Brady, was shot in the head by John Hinckley when he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. Jim Brady was President Reagan's press secretary and has lived with a disability ever since. The Bradys founded the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which worked to pass a law that now bears their name, the Brady Bill.

And Sarah Brady joins us from her home in Virginia. Ms. Brady, thanks very for being with us.

SARAH BRADY: Thank you for having me.

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Sports
5:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Bright Beginnings, Sad Endings In Sports News

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 7:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Spring has sprung with a doubleheader of baseball - spring training and the World Baseball Classic. Nothing classic, though, about the defeat of the U.S. team last night by Puerto Rico. They were eliminated but doesn't really matter. The Miami Heat continue the streak while a college team does too, just in the opposite direction. We're joined now from Sedona, Arizona by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Good morning, Howard.

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Middle East
5:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Reading The Tea Leaves Of Obama's Mideast Trip

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 9:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
4:03 am
Sat March 16, 2013

'Leviathan': The Fishing Life, From 360 Degrees

The noisy film is mostly wordless, with animals and nature filling in the blanks between its strangely stark images.
The Cinema Guild

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 7:46 am

Leviathan is a documentary — and yet not a documentary. It's a near-wordless, almost abstract depiction of an 80-foot groundfishing boat heading out of New Bedford, Mass. The film's unusual structure and point of view has gotten rave reviews at festivals and from many critics.

Sometimes you don't know quite what you're seeing and listening to in Leviathan. You hear metal groaning and rasping, see fish, gloves and tools tossed about on a boat that's pitching and rolling in a roaring wind.

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Simon Says
8:16 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Snowquester Fizzles, But We're Humbled Anyway

The failed Snowquester reminds us, during a time of national debate, that experts can still be wrong.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 2:22 pm

Snowquester fizzled.

Wednesday was more or less canceled this week in official Washington, D.C. An enormous winter storm bore down on the region, threatening ice, a foot of snow in the city (more in the suburbs), and wind and misery throughout the region.

Most of the federal government was closed. I know, I know. How could they tell? Local governments and schools, too. Flights were canceled, planes diverted, and throngs descended on grocery stores, picking the shelves clean of bread, milk and toilet tissue.

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Middle East
7:25 am
Sat March 9, 2013

From The U.S., Watching Syria's Slow And Brutal Spiral

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Not every Syrian American can go to the lengths that Abu Ahmed did, but here in the United States, they are watching the conflict closely. Muna Jondy was born in this country, but her father's family is from Daraa where the first protest back in 2011 began. She's an immigration lawyer in Flint, Michigan and president of a group called United for a Free Syria. She joins us from Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor. Thanks for being with us.

MUNA JONDY: Thank you for having me, Scott.

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Middle East
7:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

When Insects Go Biblical: Swarms Head Toward Israel

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 8:47 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If it just sounded like this, might not be all that bad.

(SOUNDBITE OF GRASSHOPPER)

SIMON: That's a grasshopper, and this is the sound of what happens when grasshoppers go biblical, and become a swarm of locusts.

(SOUNDBITE OF SWARM OF LOCUSTS)

SIMON: Just such a swarm of locusts have entered Israel's Negeve desert on Friday and that's bad news for farmers because the insects eat everything that's green.

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Around the Nation
7:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Amid Unemployment Numbers, Faces Of Those Who've Lost Hope

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

At the same time, there are millions of Americans you can't find in monthly job reports. They've been unemployed so long they're no longer counted, or they're working just a few hours a week in jobs that can't support them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also said yesterday that what they call the labor force participation rate fell again to 63.5 percent, the lowest number since 1981.

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U.S.
7:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Found At Sea, Civil War Sailors Buried In Arlington

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Two American sailors were laid to rest yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery more than 150 years after they died.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "TAPS")

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The Salt
6:15 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Career Suicide Or Lifesaver? Why A Professional Foodie Went Vegetarian

Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan has made the decision to go vegetarian.
Cristian Baitg iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 5:53 pm

It takes an adventurous palate to be a food journalist, who must sample and judge from a wide world of cuisines. So it's understandable why some chefs and foodies might be suspicious of a food editor who decides to cut himself off from a broad swath of eating possibilities by becoming vegetarian.

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StoryCorps
5:42 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Returning From Duty, Finding Families' Embrace

Luke and Mark Radlinski reunite at the airport after Mark's deployment in 2007.
Courtesy of Luke Radlinski

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 12:29 pm

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the participants in this project have been speaking about being separated from their loved ones.

This week, Weekend Edition is featuring two stories of families reuniting after deployment.

Brothers' Bond

Both of the Radlinski brothers served in the Navy. Luke deployed in 2001 to the Persian Gulf in support of the conflict in Afghanistan. His brother, Mark, went to Iraq in 2006.

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Latin America
5:40 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Venezuelan Oil Subsidies Still Buoy Neighbors, For Now

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Leonel Fernandez, the president of the Dominican Republic, sign an agreement in 2010. The Dominican Republic gets about 40,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela.
Manuel Diaz AP

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 2:06 pm

Venezuela's late president, Hugo Chavez, was a tremendous supporter of Latin American countries, especially those sympathetic to his socialist ideals.

The country's vast oil reserves are a key source of economic aid, but the Chavez didn't just help out his ideological peers like Cuba and Nicaragua. He was also a great benefactor to key U.S. allies in the Caribbean — many of whom now worry whether their vital oil lifeline is about to be shut off.

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Author Interviews
5:40 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Living A Life Of Joy 'Until I Say Good-Bye'

Cover of Until I Say Goodbye

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:18 am

Susan Spencer-Wendel knows how to spend a year.

She left her job as an award-winning criminal courts reporter for The Palm Beach Post and went to the Yukon to see the northern lights. Then to Cyprus, to meet family that she never knew. She and her husband, John, took their children on trips on which her daughter got to try on wedding dresses and Susan got kissed by a dolphin.

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Commentary
8:11 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Pianist Van Cliburn, Warmed Russian Hearts During Cold War

Van Cliburn accepts flowers from the audience in the Moscow Conservatory in April 1958, after a performance during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won.
Courtesy Van Cliburn Foundation AP

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 6:35 pm

Van Cliburn thawed out the Cold War.

He went to Moscow in 1958 for the first International Tchaikovsky Competition. When he sat down to play, Russians saw a tall, 23-year-old Texan, rail thin and tousle-haired, with great, gangly fingers that grew evocative and eloquent when he played the music of the true Russian masters — Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Borodin.

Cliburn died Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 78.

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NPR Story
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Let The Cuts Begin: Sequestration Deadline Passes

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Sequestration is official. President Obama signed an executive order on spending late last night as required by law. He sent the order to Congress and that triggered budget cuts known as sequestration. Earlier in the day, the president met with congressional leaders and when they left without a deal, he took questions at the White House.

NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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NPR Story
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Dealing With 'Root Causes' To Tackle Incarceration Rates

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Jeffrey Beard has watched America's prisons grow larger and larger every year adding prisoner after prisoner. He began working in the Pennsylvania Corrections system in the early 1970s when there were about 8,000 prisoners. He was secretary of corrections by the time he left in 2010 and by that time Pennsylvania had more than 50,000 people in its prisons.

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NPR Story
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

'It Can't Go On Forever': Michigan Steps In To Help Detroit

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Africa
6:45 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Pistorius Case Puts South African Courts In Spotlight

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 11:55 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Now, to a case that has gripped not only South Africa but much of the world: Olympian and double-amputee Oscar Pistorius posted bail on Friday, at a cost of one million rand, or roughly 112,000 U.S. dollars. The trial will begin June 4th. Pistorius is facing charges of murdering his girlfriend nearly two weeks ago on Valentines Day.

David Smith has been covering the Pistorius case for the Guardian newspaper and he joins us via satellite from his home in Pretoria, South Africa. Thanks for joining us, David.

DAVID SMITH: Thank you.

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